About Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis’s steady and familiar yet versatile voice has made him a listener favorite in almost every genre. He gained his earliest fans with sci-fi, making a big splash with Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (one of his earliest narrations), several Star Wars titles, and his performance of Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God, which won the Audie for best sci-fi in 2009. But with a varied list of nearly 500 books to his name, sci-fi certainly isn’t his only jam.

If there is such a thing as a nonfiction cult classic in audio, it may very well owe its success to Jonathan Davis. His narration of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World took an often (wrongly) mythologized, but little known, subject and made it as gripping as any thriller. Similarly, his performance of Oliver Sacks’s pop science hit The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat completely enthralled listeners, and his brilliantly paced handling of Francis Fukuyama’s unabashedly intelligent The Origins of Political Order took something that might seem above your pay grade and turned it into a story with an engaging narrative arc.

Born in the states, Davis and his family moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico when he was five, to live near his uncle Sholom Secunda, who was an esteemed composer of Yiddish theater. ''Sholom was a wonderful storyteller, who instilled my desire to become an actor,'' Davis reports. That upbringing helped to equip Davis with many of the different accents and dialects that he brings to his work. His fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew has allowed him to imbue many of his performances with a rich and rate authenticity, from Chaim Potok’s The Chosen to Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. And in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz’s not-to-be-missed tour de force, Davis brings a wisdom and depth to each character, allowing each to come alive as a separate person.

Listener Favorites

Performance Highlights

  • Hotel Scarface
  • Catalyst (Star Wars)
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Snow Crash